Similar to the television show “Shark Tank”, the judges of the Warren and Jale Trepp Business Plan Competition evaluated potential business investments at Sierra Nevada College. Starting at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 24, 7 student teams were thrown into SNC’s shark tank.
“I don’t think we’re quite as brutal as the sharks,” said competition judge, Bridge Stuart. “The bottom line is, [when judging] I’m looking for something that I would invest in.”
Three winning businesses received cash prizes: 3Denim, 5G Technologies LLC and Ski-Alert. The four other teams competing were Zap, Tent it, BeastBay and Wrap-revival. All teams competing were scored based on their business plans and pitches.
“It was interesting to see the wide array of products being pitched,” said Freshman Paul Wohlberg. “I liked Beastbay the most because of what the company stood for and what they were trying to achieve.”
Henry Rivera envisioned the design company, Beastbay at 15 years old. Other BeastBay members, Rachel Odgers and Henry Phillips, wore the T-shirts designed by Rivera. The T-shirt design advocates self-empowerment for youth and young adults. According to BeastBay, their outreach program “helps disadvantaged youth.”
“We plan to give back $3 to the community for every shirt sold,” said Riviera.
3Denim won first place, receiving $4,000. Members of the team were Evan Cook, Kelly Benson and Brendan Wheelwright. Using 3D technology, 3Denim creates individualized denim products digitally fitted and personalized for customers. According to 3Denim, their kiosk includes a machine that scans and records a customer’s body. The machine scan “takes seven seconds and records over 4,000,000 data points on the human body.” From the scan, digital avatars are created using the company’s 3D software. From any computer connected to the Internet, customers can then design “the jeans of their dreams.”
The sole member pitching for 5G Technologies LLC was Brian Gaas. For winning second place, Gaas received $1,750. 5G Technologies LLC was founded by Gaas and his four older siblings to resolve air pollution issues in major industrial cities. According to 5G Technologies LLC, the company’s innovative air purifiers combine particular organic plant species and current purification technologies that “supercharge the effect of the plant’s ability to filter air.”
Team members Marco Gooding, Grant Furlan, Austin Smith and Bryant Davis of Ski-Alert won the third place cash prize of $750.
Ski-Alert offered a new safety system using web applications for winter sport enthusiasts and ski-resorts. When a customer rides at Ski-Alert partnered resorts, their phone application will have a panic button directly linked to resort ski patrol infrastructures. When using the app, customers have the reassurance of carrying another “proactive safety system” on the mountain.
“Some good advice given to us before tonight was: Have fun, it’s cool. People sometimes get too worried because it’s a competition,” said Davis. “It takes a lot of work to get here, so enjoy it.”
Max Irving, Bryan Williams, Jackson Heath and Michael Klink represented Tent It. Tent It provides an efficient system for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an all-in-one backpack. The Tent It backpack was designed to include an “integrated tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat.”
Zap is an online service for customers seeking to sell homes. Team members, Alex Labranche and Chase Gerwin, created a web service that helps home-owners wanting to retain a broker’s expense from property sales. During the pitch, Gerwin repeatedly said, “You could sell it yourself but it’s super hard, frustrating and you’ll probably mess it up.”
Zap was created as a web based home broker that guides customers throughout the process of selling a home.
2014 Jale and Warren Trepp Business Plan Competition winner, Jacob Bricklin, joined by Tyler Freezman, Kyle Kelly and Brooke O’neill, developed Wrap Revival. A business that creates advertisement partnerships using a subsidized co-branding model, Wrap Revival offers ski and snowboard protective coverings that provide custom graphics and ad-space for companies to place logos. Companies wishing to sell that ad-space can also do so.
The three winning teams qualify to compete in Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan in April. They’ll compete against the best undergraduate teams from Nevada, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
PHOTO BY JAKE BRAYTON
THE 3DENIM TEAMMATES Evan Cook, Kelly Benson and Brendan Wheelwright took first place with their 3D-scan approach to the perfect fitting jeans.